Tag Archives: tools

Keeping Great Programming Notes

As a growing developer and a man of systems and mental hacks, I am constantly hitting roadblocks when settling on developer note-taking policy. I recently stumbled across this great collection of systems from other devs on StackOverflow. If you’re like me, you might take some time to grok this out.

From the hardcore, yet incredibly streamlined:

I use Emacs Org-Mode along with Remember Mode to keep track of everything. TODOs, appointments, notes, etc. With Org mode and Remember mode integration, plus a shortcut key defined in my window manager, I can hit a shortcut key from anywhere (Win + R in my case) and pop up a new Emacs window, select which type of item I’m saving (TODO, appointment, note, etc) and then quickly type what I want and then hit C-c C-c. The note is filed away to a default location for me to organize later if I so choose. This is so simple and convenient that I don’t have to interrupt my flow of thinking if I suddenly think of something I need to do or take some notes on a given task. “Just what are the steps again for setting up a remote git repo? Okay, I do this and this and this. I had better write this down before I forget.”

To the obvious and simple:

One notebook per project, typically, unless they’re really small projects, in which case I reach for a partially used notebook and add to it.

I find it very helpful to grab a notebook off my shelf and re-read my maunderings from when I was thinking my way through something. Scribbling on paper lets me record partial thoughts instead of doing a ‘finished’ write-up. This lets me revisit my thought process in addition to the solutions I found — and that tends to be more enlightening than merely recording a solution.

Enjoy! What do you use to keep notes as a developer? (Stack Overflow)

Excellent Javascript Library Comparison Chart!

Was browsing around on Noupe and stumbled across this fantastic chart and decided it needed to be shared with everyone. I’ve always wanted to see an apple-to-apples comparison of the these libraries. Learning new frameworks and understanding their quirks takes time and nothing beats first-hand experience, but this chart¬†definitely¬†gives you a good idea of what direction to start in.

Surprisingly, jQuery is at least twice as slow as every library listed according to this test and many more times that according to the chart. Still, comparing that with some of the syntax gymnastics you have to do to perform a simple selector (the most commonly performed task when dealing with DOM manipulation) with these other libraries, I’ll stick with my first love.

Best of the Web

Spending a significant amount of time on the internet requires knowing which sites are the right tools for the job while still being efficient and flexible. Many sites end up being unfocused in their execution, become sluggish or difficult to intuitively use, or miss the mark altogether. The following are a few sites which I have come across including my thoughts on how they stack up where it matters most.

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M-Lab: Transparency and Freedom

mLab Logo

Transparency and freedom is what the Internet is founded on. All of this business with ISPs trying to manage and prioritize your traffic is an absolute mess.

If you happened to be living under a rock this last year you missed the fiasco with Network Neutrality and our government’s attempt to make things “better” for the net. The latest tools released by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute will put an extra feather in the cap of netizens everywhere. At the very least, you will be given tools to make your ISP reveal more than they intended about how they handle your traffic. mLab is such a resource where you can find the tools which provide the evidence showing how innocent your ISP really is.

It’s also interesting (but not surprising) to point out that it is strongly supported by Google who has a strong stake in balanced networks as we move closer to a network based OS.